Slaughterhouse Five Essay by LA

Slaughterhouse Five​: A Cycle of Self­-Destruction

Kurt Vonnegut’s ​Slaughterhouse Five ​is an anti­war novel that reveals the glorification of war and its effects. In this account of the bombing of Dresden, Vonnegut exposes the American war paradigm through supporting characters, such as Edgar Derby, Kilgore Trout, and the Tralfamadorians. Edgar Derby, a very normal and poor high school teacher, gives his life meaning by fighting bravely in the war. Kilgore Trout is an odd science fiction writer who communicates his beliefs through novel. The tralfamadorians are small green creatures who Vonnegut uses to ironically communicate his beliefs, such as free will. Together with these characters, Vonnegut uses Campbell’s monograph, an essay about the American war paradigm written by an American traitor, to more literally portray his message. Through this paradigm, Vonnegut reveals the cycle which makes poor Americans hate themselves, purposefully benefiting the rich; a cycle created by patriotism and the dependence on money for self­worth. In ​Slaughterhouse Five,​ Vonnegut uses supporting characters Edgar Derby, Kilgore Trout, and the tralfamadorians in partnership with Campbell’s monograph to develop the American war paradigm, revealing the emotionally self­destructive cycle created by patriotism and financial self­worth which deliberately preserves the unhappiness of the poor to benefit the American elite. [Read more…]

Slaughterhouse Five Essay by CP

Slaughterhouse-Five: The Systematic Manipulation Of The Masses

In Slaughterhouse-Five, Vonnegut uses Campbell’s monograph, the motif of humans as machines, along with the symbolism of Trout’s novels to reveal the inner workings of American society, in which patriotism and capitalism allow for the growth of the system and the glorification of war, while ultimately depleting human morals. Campbell, an American traitor who allied himself with the Nazis during World War II, wrote a monograph in which he criticized American society’s faults, in which people are systematically taught to hate themselves if they do not become successful. Kilgore Trout, a science-fiction writer, wrote the novels The Money Tree and The Gutless Wonder, which symbolically depict how the capitalism and patriotism of American society allow for the act of war. As a result, the system consistently devalues human morals making people into machines to be used as tools for the system’s benefit. [Read more…]

1984 Essay by TE

1984: Selfishness Superiority

          Humans’ natural instinct of self-preservation creates an innate selfishness within all people. Humans are genetically wired with the desire to live, causing them to put themselves and their needs above others. Through a healthy, loving family dynamic, this selfishness can be blunted to some extent and altruistic tendencies develop. In1984, the Party uses innate selfishness to their advantage, creating love only for the Party. The manipulation of the Outer Party differs from the Proles, due to their varying roles in society. The Outer Party members possess knowledge of the Party’s activities and therefore pose more of a threat. Consequently, the Inner Party manipulates the Outer Party Member’s selfishness in order to control the Outer Party. The Party destroys familial bonds, and creates dire living conditions as a way to fuel the Outer Party members’ selfishness. Because of their lack of power, the Proles can maintain their family bonds, allowing them to remain human. Orwell juxtaposes the ability to love in the two different groups to demonstrate how the Inner Party manipulates social hierarchy and family dynamics to accentuate humans’ innate, selfish tendencies. [Read more…]

1984 Essay by EBK

1984: A Life of Dreams

            In 1984 by George Orwell, dreams, flashbacks and memories are an important mental guide for the main character, Winston Smith.  Living in a time where Big Brother wields complete control over the mind, Winston does all he can to maintain his human nature, particularly his loving emotions.  However, he cannot fight Big Brother by simply using his innate moral compass, so he uses his dreams to strengthen his identity and morals.  Mostly of his mother and lover, Winston’s dreams are filled with important values and ideas that he uses to build his identity in defiance of Big Brother.  In dreaming of his mother, he is inspired by her compassionate gestures and loyalty toward him.  While dreaming of Julia, love and romance fill his mind, as he incorporates these aspects into his identity as well.  In each dream, Winston takes another step towards maintaining his humanity, as they teach and inspire him to maintain his love, compassion and loyalty, thus allowing him to grasp his humanity until the very end. Through Winston’s flashbacks and ultimate love of Big Brother, George Orwell demonstrates how dreams guide, reinforce and reflect one’s personal values, for Winston only loses his humanity once he disconnects from his original dreams. [Read more…]

The Death of Ivan Ilyich Essay by JB

The Russian industrialization greatly affected Leo Tolstoy’s views on modern society, causing him to reject the society to which he once belonged. This blatant rejection of bourgeois society is illustrated throughout The Death Of Ivan Ilyich through Tolstoy’s skillful use of devices. The devices are utilized to make the superficiality of this society evident. The devices consist of narrative, theme, and juxtaposition which all contribute to Tolstoy’s existential disdain. The juxtaposition of Gerasim to the Russian bourgeois society, the unenthused narrative, and the focus on materialistic pursuits, all illuminate Tolstoy’s disdain for mass-man’s loss of humanity in an emotionally detached society. [Read more…]